After all the panic of last week's Fitbit and Pebble news (guilty), we now have an update for the existing 2 million or so Pebble owners.
A Pebble dev and evangelist, Jon Barlow, has posted a blog to say that Fitbit is guaranteeing Pebble services for 2017 but not beyond. This clarifies the initial announcement that Pebble watches will work but "functionality or service quality will be reduced down the road".
If you've just bought a Pebble, it's not the best news obviously as there is now a time limit on the guarantee that you can continue using your smartwatch as you do now. Though Barlow does point out it could technically be worse - Fitbit is not planning to brick Pebble smartwatches.
The Pebble SDK, Timeline APIs and the app store will all continue to run until at least 2018. Pebble Health will continue to work too and doesn't rely on cloud services. So it won't necessarily get new features but using it to monitor fitness and sleep now isn't totally pointless - you can also link it to Google Fit and Apple HealthKit.
Making Pebble's apps and services less reliant on the cloud, looking to the long term, is a goal of Fitbit's new employees from Pebble. Users can expect an update in the next few months. What's less certain is the fate of features that depend on third parties like dictation and weather - Barlow says to keep checking the Developer blog for more info on this.
The "short term game plan" signs off with an appeal for Pebble users to get involved: "I want the Pebble community to know just how much impact they can have on what's to come. Continuing to engage with us and sharing your passion for what makes Pebble special to you will go a long way towards showing our Fitbit friends how valuable your enthusiasm can be."
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